Editorial: Syracuse Dean arrest shows us why college is so expensive

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The arrest of Syracuse University business dean Kenneth Kavajecz, 51, last week, for allegedly soliciting a prostitute was sensational enough, but add to that some of the details of the story: He is paid about $500,000 a year to run the 23rd best undergraduate business program in the country.

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So, in other words, give or take, there are probably 22 undergraduate business deans who earn as much or more than this guy in the U.S. As well, it also means that most admins at Syracuse at his rank or higher are also grossly overpaid.

And you wonder why college tuition at four-year colleges is so expensive? Tuition, room and board is over $61,000 per year at Syracuse.

Meanwhile, at community colleges, the presidents often make less than $200,000 a year.

College credits are supposed to be equal, but the difference between the two- and four-year schools is “separate and unequal.”

Four-year colleges are rife with administrators and some “all-star” faculty who earn immense salaries. The colleges grow more and more bloated, because when prima donnas are hired, they also have to have assistants, secretaries, office space, company cars, etc., etc.

And it would be hard to argue that colleges are actually better than they were before all of this corruption.

If these administrators and faculty are so talented, why can’t they earn such pay as a side gig? Why get rich on the students’ dime?

Higher education is the next bubble to burst in America. We already saw bubbles burst with the Internet and the stock market and real estate. We are now starting to see mediocre colleges calling it quits — most recently Dowling College and ITT Tech. More and better colleges will falter.

Many people are starting to question the value of expensive colleges vs. lesser-priced private colleges and state schools — vs. not going to college at all.

At the very least, administrators who earn the big salaries should realize they have a good thing going and not screw up. Ever hear of flying under the radar?

Colleges are one of the last institutions in the country to be run like an aristocracy: The president as king; those with certain pedigrees, who schmooze at ritzy wine and cheese parties, are allowed into an inner circle at the top. It’s a fancy club that rank-and-file faculty will never be able to enter.

Here’s a newsflash — most of these people earning the big salaries are famous only in their own minds and in certain immediate circles. Spending student tuition dollars to maintain their ego-driven aristocracy is just wrong.

The average full-time professor earns $85,000 a year. The average adjunct, $22,500.

How about ending the charade of overpaid deans, VPs, presidents and all-star faculty, and bumping up the lowest paid faculty? Isn’t college supposed to be a meritocracy, where, through equal work one gets equal pay?

Or is it just by paying someone an exorbitant amount it suddenly makes them seem special?

We don’t understand it.

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